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Air Algerie Plane Crash Found, Now Search For Cause Begins

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Air Algerie Plane Crash Found, Now Search For Cause Begins
The plane was traveling over an area known to have active terrorist groups, though right now weather seems the more likely culprit.
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Officials from Burkina Faso say they've found the wreckage of the plane carrying 116 people that went missing Thursday morning, though they still don't know what caused it to crash. (Via aeroprints / CC BY SA 3.0)

The head of the country's crisis unit says the wreck was discovered in neighboring Mali, about 60 miles south of Gao, but, sadly, he said there were no survivors. (Via L'Observateur PaalgaGoogle)

​Now that the plane has been found, the next step is to find out what went wrong. 

Early on in the search, there were fears the plane had been shot down, the same way Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine last week. (Via The TelegraphGetty Images)

That part of northern Mali has active Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups, and the city of Gao itself was taken over by separatists for much of 2012. (Via Orionist / CC BY SA 3.0)

French forces succeeded in taking back the city and driving the terrorist groups underground in 2013, but they're still an active threat in the region.

Though one French aviation expert says they probably aren't responsible, saying that if those groups had the ability to take down a plane, they would have used it a long time ago. (Via France 24)

Instead, weather seems to be the more likely cause at this point. French President Francois Hollande said the pilot told air traffic controllers he was changing course to avoid a storm shortly before contact with the plane was lost. (Via France 24)

Another recent airline tragedy, the crash of a TransAsia Airways flight in Taiwan Wednesday night, might also have been due to weather, but authorities are still investigating.